Family, friends mourn death of TX teacher in NM

Posted at: 03/05/2014 6:35 PM
Updated at: 03/05/2014 6:40 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Family members and friends of a Dallas area teacher who was killed near Carlsbad are still trying to make sense of the tragedy.

Just days after she was reported missing, the body of Emily Lambert was found along Highway 31 near Loving, N.M.

"It became a horrible, gut wrenching feeling that just hasn't ended yet," said her ex-husband, Donovan Lambert.

Police have arrested her boyfriend, Robert Earley—the same man who reported her missing.

Lambert was in Carlsbad visiting Earley for the weekend, according to investigators. The couple had gone to the Caverns and then to the Blue Cactus bar at their motel in Carlsbad.

Police said Earley told them he got mad at her for flirting with another man. Once they got back to their motel room, police said the couple got into a fight.

At their motel, police said Earley punched and kicked Lambert in the mouth multiple times until she became unconscious. He told investigators he drove her body to a barn off Highway 31 near Loving.

Police said Earley told them when she woke up; he hit her with an air pump, tied a rope around her neck and dragged her with his car.

Lambert's best friend is heartbroken.

"She was my soul mate, and I know you get soul mates as friends and you get soul mates as lovers and relationships. But she was my soul mate friend. She was my very best friend ever," Angie Goode said.

The small community of Loving is also shaken up.

"It's just shocking to everybody," resident Kasie Gonzalez said.

This is the second woman to be found on the highway in four months. Less than a mile away, a hunter found 24-year-old Anna Villegas naked and bound.

Police arrested her husband and a friend for her murder.

"You'd figure it'd happen in big cities, not anywhere around here," Gonzalez said.

Lambert had two children. They go to the Dallas-area school where she just started teaching third grade math and science.

Wednesday, grief counselors at the elementary school talked to students and staff.

A spokesperson for the school said Lambert had a big heart and always made sure students had everything they needed to be successful.